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Progress Report on the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms

ABSG progress report 2020

  1. Contents
  2. Section 1: Introduction
  3. ‘Progress’ versus ‘impact’ reporting

‘Progress’ versus ‘impact’ reporting

Harvard Professor Malcolm Sparrow9, whose work on harm reduction in other sectors is well documented, suggests identifying key harms and agreeing on ways to measure them provides an effective catalyst for change. This approach helps to create common goals and improve coordination across multiple stakeholders. It is not enough simply to report on activities and timelines. Projects need to report on outcomes, and what has been achieved in reducing harm.

A key recommendation in this report is that specific metrics for measuring harm reduction need to be in place for the National Strategy as a whole, as well as for individual projects so evaluations can help measure the contributions being made. Where gaps exist, for example in establishing baseline data, efforts need to be made to address these, and responsibilities for collecting data assigned to specific organisations. DCMS has recently reinforced its commitment to doing whatever it can to ‘free up data sources across government’ that will contribute to this goal10. We provide proposals for what these metrics should look like in Annexes 1 and 2.


9 The Character of Harms, Sparrow, M, Cambridge University Press, 2009

10 Public Accounts Committee, 27 April 2020

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Structure of this report
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